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Transatlantic Startup Global Airlines Buys Three More A380s

The startup carrier now has a fleet of four A380s with aims to start commercial flights between the U.S. and the U.K. next spring

by Lauren Smith

July 7, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Global Airlines

New transatlantic carrier Global Airlines has purchased three additional Airbus A380s, taking its fleet to a total of four of the superjumbo jets, as it prepares to launch its first flights next spring.

In May, the London-based company spent an undisclosed sum—believed to be in the eight-figure range—to acquire its first plane, an A380 previously flown for Singapore Airlines. “Unlike other new airlines,” it’s purchasing its planes rather than leasing them, the carrier noted, signaling a commitment to the A380 and its ambitious launch plans.

Global Airlines has added three more double-decker jets to its stable and says it is “developing plans for their refit and return to service.”

The paper airline promises that “further details about the aircraft, the acquisition, and the refurbishment will be published in the coming months,” but for now, it plans to configure the planes to seat 471 passengers. The carrier is also looking to take on more of the superjumbo jets next year.

CEO James Asquith said, “As I’ve always said, the A380 is the best aircraft in the sky, and we will continue to look for further acquisition opportunities.”

Global Airlines’ investment in the A380 suggests that obituaries written during the pandemic for the world’s largest passenger jet were premature. As passenger numbers dwindled during the crisis, most airlines mothballed their A380s, and several retired them completely or announced plans to do so.

Photo: Courtesy of Global Airlines

Air France put its A380s out to pasture in May 2020, and Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Thai Airways, and Asian Airlines all announced plans to do so over the coming years.

But with travel resurgent, carriers are reevaluating the double-decker jet. Etihad reversed its May 2021 decision to “permanently ground” its A380s in December and will return four to service this summer. Lufthansa will also reactivate some of its A380s for the peak travel season.

Global Airlines hopes the superjumbo plane will help it redefine transatlantic travel.

“Our aspiration is to be the best way to fly, and the A380, with its unmatched levels of space, comfort, and service, will be absolutely central to achieving that vision,” Asquith said.

Global Airlines, founded in 2021 with the backing of the travel platform Holiday Swap, hopes to launch flights between London, New York, and Los Angeles by next spring.